Bissonnette and the Canadian K4 qualified for the Olympics
Lissa Bissonnette and her three teammates qualified Canada for the next Olympic Games in 2020 in Tokyo, K4. This feat, which marks a first for Canada since 2008, was made at the World Canoe Kayak Championships, which took place recently in Szeged, Hungary.
L e quartet formed Bissonnette, Michelle Russell, Courtney Stott and Natalie Davidson ranked twelfth total boats, and third final B, on the distance of 500 m.
It was nonetheless enough to qualify Canada for the Olympic Games.
“We are really happy to have achieved this feat. It was still 11 years since Canada had failed to qualify for the Olympics. In total, 10 boats could confirm their qualification; so our goal was to participate in the final A. We had managed to do it last year, so it was in the realm of possibility, “said Bissonnette, when joined by La Tribune.
“We really had a solid race in the semifinals, but we were not able to reach the A final. Even so, we had our chances in the final B, because we had to go ahead only the boat of the Mexicans. The selection process is complicated by kayaking; it is the best boats from four continents that are accepted. ”
“We did not have our best race, but we ended up strong to beat the Mexicans and we proved we had our place in the Olympics. We even managed to catch two boats, which is particularly difficult, a short distance like the 500, “analyzed the Sherbrookoise.
The four Canadians beat the Mexicans by just over a second at the finish line.
The latter confirms that the Canadian objectives were high, in view of these World Championships.
“I saw ourselves finishing in the top 5 or 7. Not to participate in the final, it was disappointing. But we recovered well. Now, we want more. We want to participate in the final of the discipline at the Olympics and give ourselves a chance to medal. The dream is not finished. ”
Keep fit … and keep your fingers crossed
If Canada now has a place in K4 in Tokyo, the composition of the crew is not yet confirmed.
It is during the Olympic trials next May that the decision will fall.
And Lissa Bissonnette plans to make every effort to be in this K4, in Tokyo.
“I do not think my place is at stake. But we must always be on our guard. Canada can still change the crew. I will continue to work hard to achieve my dream. ”
The passion for kayaking developed in Sherbrooke
Lissa Bissonnette started kayaking in Sherbrooke at the age of 12.
It was during a training session in Florida, with Émilie Fournel, Caroline Brunet and Adam van Koeverden, that she decided to target the Olympic Games.
“I was only 16 at the time, I was at the same training camp as they were, I was doing the same things, so I figured it was possible to get there. The following year, I put all my efforts, “she recalled.
She has been a member of the Canadian national team since 2008-2009.
In the boat, she occupies the important second position.
“I do a little bit of everything during the race. I am much in support with the pace, to help cohesion, and sync. It’s me who makes the ” calls ” in the boat, go faster, have a faster pace. I have always been a pretty extroverted girl, so! She laughed.
She also races in K1 and K2; last spring, she finished fifth in the K2 500m with her partner Courtney Stott at the World Canoe Kayak Championship in Poland.
In 2018, she won the gold medal in the K4 500m at the Pan Am Games in Halifax.